Swedish pancakes are made from a thin, egg-rich batter that’s cooked in a skillet to produce soft and tender cakes with the perfect crispy edges. There isn’t any sugar in the batter, so they are the perfect vehicle to serve as a bed for your favorite toppings. With a batter that comes together in minutes with a bowl and whisk, and only three ingredients it is sure to be your new favorite pancake for breakfast, brunch, birthdays, family gatherings, dessert parties, and more!
Tried and True Recipe for Traditional Swedish Pancakes
This is a tired and true Davis family recipe that the family has made for over 60 years! We enjoy these every single weekend in our home and so do many relatives around the United States. No matter how many miles apart we are we can still make this recipe and think of one another as we enjoy our favorite Swedish Pancake recipe. They are simple to make and easy to love time and time again.
When we visit Jordan’s family in Idaho his dad stands at the stove and flips the cakes. He then hands them to mom who tops them with simple butter and sugar. She folds them in a triangle and passes them off to the line of grandchildren anxiously waiting for their Swedish, or “sugar” pancake.
Traditionally, we serve with with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of sugar. As the years go by, we get more creative and serve them all sorts of delicious toppings (see suggestions below).
What Are Swedish Pancakes?
Swedish pancakes are made from a thin, egg-rich batter that’s cooked in a skillet to produce thin cakes that are rolled up or folded. While they look a whole lot like French crêpes there are slight differences that make each unique. The batter for Swedish pancakes contains a higher ratio of milk, butter, and eggs to flour, resulting in something that’s lighter and fluffier than crêpes. The batter is a little more custard like that thin. It is the perfect in between of a regular American pancake and French crêpe.
If you are looking for traditional French Crepes- try this recipe Traditional French Crêpes- Elena. I lived the first six years of my life in Paris, France. The smell of real crêpes takes me back to the cobble stone streets of Paris. This is the most authentic recipe for French Crepes you can find.
Now, back to Swedish Pancakes…
Simple Ingredients for Traditional Swedish Pancakes
Special Pan for Swedish Pancakes
We prefer using a stainless steel flat pan. You can also use cast iron. The batter for Swedish pancakes is thin and needs a flat pan with small edges to spread and twirl the batter in the pan. A well seasoned cast iron or quality stainless steel pan will last a very long time.
The pan we use was gifted to us many years ago and we can no longer find this exact model. We’ve found a couple of pans that we recommend for you:
How to Prevent (Swedish) Pancakes from Sticking to the Pan
Tips to prevent pancakes from sticking to the pan
Use a Quality Pan for Frying Heavy pans work better for cooking pancakes that don’t stick. Thin, often poor quality, pans can heat unevenly, causing pancakes to stick to their surfaces even if they have a nonstick coating.
Rinse and Dry Your Pan. Rinse and dry your frying pan before getting started. Even if you previously washed the pan, remaining food residue that you cannot see can and will make your pancakes stick.
Use Oil, Lard, or Clarified Butter for Frying. When cooking over very high heat, use oil, which is less likely to burn. When sautéing with medium-high heat, you may opt for butter, which adds a nice flavor. However, the milk solids in the butter can burn, or brown, affecting the color and taste of your food. For Swedish pancakes you need a higher heat to get nice crispy edges while maintaining a tender center.
Turn on the Burner. Place the pan on the stove and set the burner to medium-high. You need a nice heat so the batter sizzles as soon as it hits the pan.
Test the Heat of the Pan. Test the pan after several minutes to ensure that it’s hot enough by wetting your hand and flinging several drops of water onto the pan’s surface. In a properly heated pan, the drops of water will bead up and sizzle before disappearing. A hot pan slightly sears the outside of each pancake, preventing the batter from sticking to the pan.
Add a Generous Amount of Oil for the First Swedish Pancake. Add a small spoonful of oil into the pan. This prevents them from sticking to the pan. Allow the oil to heat and coat the pan completely before cooking your first pancake. Periodically add more oil to the pan when needed to keep the pancakes from sticking.
Pick up the Pan to Swirl your Batter. This methods makes the thin and tender with crispy edges. After pouring 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. Immediately pick up the pan and swirl it to spread the batter into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the pancake has browned slightly on the bottom, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes and carefully slide a spatula underneath the pancake and flip it. Cook the second side briefly, just to set the batter, 15 to 30 seconds more. Tilt the pan and loosen the pancake, then slide it onto a wire rack, or serve directly on a plate and enjoy with toppings.
Topping Suggestions for Swedish Pancakes
The traditional recipe passed down from my husbands great-grandmother suggest to serve them with butter and sugar. This is the way we usually enjoy them.
Here are some other delicious flavor combinations:
- Squeeze of fresh lemon and sugar
- Nutella and banana
- Fresh berries and whipped cream
- Any jam or preserve
- Apple or pear butter
- Cinnamon sugar
- Chocolate or plain Italian pastry cream
- Caramel sauce
- Homemade chocolate syrup
- Yogurt and Granola
- Italian pastry cream or chocolate Italian pastry cream
- Maple Syrup
Can make Swedish Pancakes Ahead of Time?
Yes! Here are some tips to make them ahead of time: Swedish pancakes can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Layer the cooled pancakes between parchment paper, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and transfer to zipper-lock bag. To serve, microwave stacks of 3 pancakes on 50 percent power until heated through, 10 to 15 seconds. Note: they are always better fresh.
How do you Store Swedish Pancakes?
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can make a double batch on the weekend and heat up for a delicious breakfast on a busy weekday.
From my Cucina to your Table, Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)
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Swedish pancakes are made from a thin, egg-rich batter that’s cooked in a skillet to produce soft and tender cakes that are folded into a triangle shape. There isn’t any sugar in the batter, so they are the perfect vehicle to serve as a bed for your favorite toppings. With a batter that comes together in minutes with a bowl and whisk, and only three ingredients it is sure to be your new favorite pancake for breakfast, brunch, family gatherings, and dessert parties. This is a tried and true family recipe of over 60 years!
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups milk, warm to 70 degrees F
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Solid lard, coconut or vegetable oil, or clarified butter (we do not recommend regular butter for frying as this batter needs a very hot pan and butter burns easily)
For serving: butter, sugar, fresh fruit or jam, whipped cream, powdered sugar, lemon juice, maple syrup, or yogurt
- Whisk the eggs and milk until well combined. Add flour and salt. Whisk for an additional minute until well incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Melt 1 teaspoon unsalted butter in a 9.5- 10-inch stainless steel pan over medium heat. Tilt the pan so the coconut oil or crisco coats the bottom. Pour in about 1/3 cup of the batter, then immediately pick up the pan and swirl it to spread the batter into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the pancake has browned slightly on the bottom, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes and carefully slide a spatula underneath the pancake and flip it. Cook the second side briefly, just to set the batter, 15 to 30 seconds more. Tilt the pan and loosen the pancake, then slide it onto a wire rack, or serve directly on a plate and enjoy with toppings.
- Continue making pancakes with the rest of the batter, adding more solid coconut or vegetable oil- 1 teaspoon at a time, as needed, to keep them from sticking. Stack the pancakes to keep them warm. To serve, fold the pancakes in four to form a triangle. Serve the pancakes with toppings, as desired. Enjoy!
Keywords: Swedish pancakes, pancakes, breakfast, brunch, sugar, butter, crepes